Procurement: April 19, 2003


Just like in the 1991 Gulf War, the 2003 Iraq war provided at least one example of an "impossible" procurement task being performed quickly. In this case, the U.S. Marines needed five FBM Bridge Erection boats, fast. These are specialized boats used by engineers to quickly construct bridges. The Marines were going into Iraq and were beefing up their bridging capabilities. A British firm was contacted, which normally built the boats. But there was no time to build them from scratch. So the Brits went and found people who had, in the last few years, bought older British Bridge Erection boats that were being retired. The firm then quickly upgraded the boats to current standards, and hired a huge Antonov 124-100 transport to fly the boats to the Persian Gulf, where the marines were waiting for them. 


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